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Two Boys on Bicycles, Falling in Love

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nytimes.com

Two summers before Mary J. Blige crooned soulfully about searching for a “Real Love,” I found mine. I was 11 years old. I haven’t seen him since, and I have no idea where he is now, so for our purposes I’ll use his initial: L.

In the summer of 1989, my family had moved to South Jamaica, Queens, and a year later L. and his mother moved into a house across the street.

He rode into my life doing tricks on the wheels of a BMX bike accented with a checkerboard frame and handlebar grips. I had a bike, too, but I never tried the tricks that L.

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